Governor says with more federal funds, cuts could be reduced
SAN JUAN – Gov. Ricardo Rosselló said Thursday that if he gets the U.S. Congress to allocate additional funds to address healthcare in Puerto Rico, the number of cuts in other areas could be reduced.
“That’s a significant burden, seeing that there are between $1.2 and $1.5 billion…for our health system, as it is now. If it were equal treatment to a state, it would be an additional $3 billion. If we can guarantee that, like other states, payment will be extended until 2019 or 2020, we would have an additional $800 million and for the second fiscal year we would have an additional $1.5 billion,” the governor said at press conference.
“Since we have made significant cuts in other areas and we could add that amount and inject it into our health system, we would have more funds to apply a reduction in cuts in other areas. For example, in government matters, the University of Puerto Rico, payment of the debt; it be in different areas as more capital is received,” he added.
Rosselló mentioned that the fiscal control board made him certify that there is no expectation of additional federal funds in the fiscal plan.
The healthcare cut is of about $612 million annually. For the University of Puerto Rico, $450 million in three years. For the payment of the debt, of the $1.2 billion proposed in the fiscal plan (the fiscal board proposed $800 million), the number was lowered to $567 million.